Sport Soccer

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Stephan Lichtsteiner to leave Arsenal after one season

The experienced defender joined from Juventus last year.

Stephan Lichtsteiner, left, made 23 appearances for Arsenal last season (Nick Potts/PA)
Stephan Lichtsteiner, left, made 23 appearances for Arsenal last season (Nick Potts/PA)

By Mark Mann-Bryans, Press Association Sport

Arsenal full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner is expected to leave the club this summer, Press Association Sport understands.

The 35-year-old moved to the Emirates Stadium from Juventus last summer, signing an initial one-year deal, on a free transfer, with the club having an option to extend by a further year.

Lichtsteiner appeared to post a farewell message to the Gunners on his Instagram account on Monday – and it is believed the club are not expecting an extension to his contract.

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Lichtsteiner joined Arsenal on a free transfer last year (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The Switzerland captain lifted the Serie A title in each of his seven years in Turin and was seen as a signing that could bring a winning mentality to Unai Emery’s squad.

Despite his influence, Arsenal finished a point outside the Premier League top four before losing 4-1 to Chelsea in the Europa League final last week – with Lichtsteiner an unused substitute – a result which means they now face a third season outside of the Champions League.

“Dear Gunners. We were close to add an important chapter to this amazing club’s history. But to be close … is unfortunately not good enough,” Lichtsteiner posted on Instagram alongside a slideshow of images from the loss to the Blues in Baku.

“This is hard to accept. I’m very disappointed. It was our objective to bring Arsenal back on the highest international level and to win trophies. Both belong to this great club.

View this post on Instagram

Dear Gunners We were close to add an important chapter to this amazing club's history. But to be close ... is unfortunately not good enough. This is hard to accept. I'm very disappointed. It was our objective to bring Arsenal back on the highest international level and to win trophies. Both belong to this great club. I wish my teammates, my coach and his staff, all hard-working employees and all Gunner fans simply the best! I'm confident our team can complete our mission next season! I loved to be a part of this club. It was a great challenge and experience without a happy end, unfortunately. Thank you very much for your overwhelming support! It was much appreciated! See you Stephan #COYG #WeAreTheArsenal #YaGunnersYa #ThankYou

A post shared by Stephan Lichtsteiner (@stephanlichtsteiner) on

“I wish my teammates, my coach and his staff, all hard-working employees and all Gunner fans simply the best! I’m confident our team can complete our mission next season!

“I loved to be a part of this club. It was a great challenge and experience without a happy end, unfortunately. Thank you very much for your overwhelming support! It was much appreciated! See you, Stephan”

Lichtsteiner made 23 appearances across all competitions for Arsenal and scored his only goal for the club in a 2-1 Carabao Cup win over Blackpool in October.

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